Mary Beth Hurt

Mary Beth Hurt

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Young Adult Review


Excellent
There isn't much on the surface of this prickly comedy, but the sharp script slices through American culture so astutely that we continually see ourselves in characters who are clearly losers. And the film gives Theron another terrific role to disappear into.

Mavis (Theron) left her small-town home for Minneapolis to become an author of young adult fiction. But as her book series comes to an end, she hears that her high school flame Buddy (Wilson) has just had a baby with his wife Beth (Reaser). So Mavis heads home to try to win him back. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and she ends up instead commiserating with another former classmate, Matt (Oswalt), who also can't seem to move on from his teen years.

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Young Adult Trailer


Mavis Gary is the ghostwriter for a successful series of young adult novels entitled the Waverly Prep series. Lately, though, the books have been lagging, so the publishers have decided to cancel them. Mavis has almost finished what will be the last book in the series but is struggling with the last chapter. She is also struggling with more personal issues in her life: she has a drinking problem and longs to relive the glory days of high school, where she was a popular cheerleader and dating the resident 'It' boy, Buddy Slade.

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Untraceable Review


Bad
It would be wonderful if this review of the newest cyber-torture-stalker-thriller could begin with the words "Untraceable is unwatchable," but sadly that would be a lie. Our tastes have very simply become too degraded over the years for us not to have become used to it as studios have continued to shove out purposeless dreck like this. Call it a formula inoculation, as the films keep coming, with only the slightest noticeable tweaks to their dependable structure (as necessitated by the latest spasms in popular culture that allow a soupcon of relevancy to creep in), we very simply get used to it, no matter how awful.

And awful it is. In a desperate bid to glom on to the Internet's evergreen supposed hipness, the script (a lifeless accumulation of the expected by a trio of writers who really should know better) puts us inside an FBI cyber-crime unit where flint-eyed but tender-hearted agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) tracks down the worst of the online worst. Stirring from her bank of computer monitors only to get coffee or crack wise with fellow agent Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks), Marsh is your prototypical wounded female cop with a young daughter and fretful mother at home, and a dead husband in her memory. (If her character had been male they'd have given her a bad temper and a drinking problem, but at least the sarcastic partner bit is gender neutral.) She gets put on the kind of case that (literally) only exists in the movies. Some psycho sets up a website called "Kill With Me" whose hook is that the more people view it, the quicker the subject on camera dies by some fiendish means. The first time out, it's a kitten; after that a person, and then another, and then another...

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Perception Review


Weak
In too good of a mood today? Park yourself in front of Perception for 104 minutes and you'll be drinking yourself to sleep come nightfall.

As melodrama goes, Perception is filled to the absolute brim with it. What seems like it will start off as a lighthearted, quirky comedy soon becomes something entirely else. Piper Perabo stars as Jen (not "Jennifer"), who's just returned to New York after a failed stint at living in L.A. Here, we find her parents are in rapid mental decline. Her semi-girlfriend (Heather Burns) is clingy and, well, stupid. Her ex-boyfriend (Seth Meyers) keeps coming around. And then Jen, in one of the big "holy crap!" moments of cinema, gets run over by a truck.

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The Family Man Review


OK

Nicolas Cage makes a gosh-darn good Jimmy Stewart substitute in "The Family Man," starring as a Wall Street playboy taught a lesson in life priorities when he gets Frank Capra-ed into an alternative suburban reality that includes a wife, kids, a minivan, a mortgage and a job selling tires for his father-in-law.

His performance is superb as Jack Campbell, a toplofty workaholic millionaire of the new economy who is utterly baffled by waking up one morning next to the college sweetheart (Téa Leoni), whom he'd abandoned to pursue his career 13 years before.

How did he get there? Well, after stiff-arming his ornamental girlfriend on Christmas eve and ordering an emergency merger meeting for dinner time the next day, Jack catches the eye of some kind of cryptic seraph (Don Cheadle) by intervening in a convenience store hold up. When he tells Cheadle he has everything he could ever want in life, the busybody celestial spirit decides Jack's karma needs a realignment and sends him whirling into a world of What Might Have Been.

Continue reading: The Family Man Review

Mary Beth Hurt

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Mary Beth Hurt Movies

Young Adult Movie Review

Young Adult Movie Review

There isn't much on the surface of this prickly comedy, but the sharp script slices...

Young Adult Trailer

Young Adult Trailer

Mavis Gary is the ghostwriter for a successful series of young adult novels entitled the...

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Untraceable Movie Review

Untraceable Movie Review

It would be wonderful if this review of the newest cyber-torture-stalker-thriller could begin with the...

The Family Man Movie Review

The Family Man Movie Review

Nicolas Cage makes a gosh-darn good Jimmy Stewart substitute in "The Family Man," starring as...

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